DRC Lashes Out At US Over Sanctions

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo accused the United States in a statement on Thursday of sowing “chaos”, after Washington placed two top allies of President Joseph Kabila on its sanctions blacklist.

The US Treasury on Wednesday said both the men it blacklisted were involved in violently putting down opposition to Kabila and undermining democratic forces in the country.

“It is clear, if we look back at history, that this pattern is similar to the one that led to chaos in nations like Libya and South Sudan, which now face extinction,” Lambert Mende, the spokesperson of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government, said in a statement.

The US Treasury said on Wednesday that Major General Gabriel Amisi Kumba, a commander of the armed forces, led units that have violently repressed political demonstrations in several provinces including Kinshasha.

Also hit with sanctions was General John Numbi, a former national inspector in the police and a close advisor of Kabila.

“In light of these shameless initiatives… regarding these officers, the government wonders about the US authorities’ logic and motivations,” Mende added.

The sanctions, which ban US individuals and businesses from dealings with the two men, came days after dozens of demonstrators were killed in anti-government protests.

Under a new constitutional regime in 2006, Kabila was elected to the position with a two-term limit, which should expire in December.

However, the government has not yet scheduled new elections, giving rise to fears that he will not step down.

Written by Deborah O

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